Eleven months ago, the Atlanta Falcons faced off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Now these two teams will go head-to-head once again for a matchup
just as enticing that is nowhere near the same level as last season.
It's hard to believe the Falcons were just yards away from reaching the Super Bowl the last time these teams played. Atlanta has found some success late in the year, winning two of its last three games. However, the 49ers remain one of the top teams in the NFC, and judging by last week's performance, none of us seem too confident about the Falcons' chances of back-to-back victories.
James has been in control of first place for our season picks series most of the year, but he went 1-5 last week (lol n00b), allowing me to move ahead. Dave has now fallen to last place; Jeanna is happy. Let's see who we're all picking for Week 16.
Bucs at Rams, 1 p.m. (FOX)
After seeing the Rams handle the Saints, I feel good about their chances in Tampa. St. Louis struggled in its last two road games, but this team has impressive wins over Indianapolis, Chicago and New Orleans. Of course James, our resident Bucs fan, picked his favorite team.
Saints at Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)
James and I are the only ones taking the Saints. All four of their losses have come on the road in 2013. However, they've come out in dominating fashion after each so far (yes, I know they were playing those games at the Superdome). Call it a gut feeling, I think the Saints recover after that ugly showing against the Rams.
Patriots at Ravens, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
We've been picking NFC South and prime time games this season, but since we only had four to choose from in Week 16, we threw this matchup in. I'm the only one brave enough here to go against Bill Belichick (don't tell him I said that). The Ravens continue to find ways to win. Like the Saints, all four losses for the Patriots have come away from home. There's my reasoning for going with Baltimore, which is the opposite of what I said for my Saints pick. Whatever.
Bears at Eagles, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday night's game created a split between the staff. The over/under here is firmly set at 200, I believe. The Bears are horrendous against the run, which bodes well for LeSean McCoy. The Eagles are terrible against the pass, which bodes well for Jay Cutler. But whenever we expect a high-scoring affair, we get the opposite, it seems. Either way, I think Philly rebounds from an embarrassing loss to Minnesota.
Falcons at 49ers, 8:30 p.m. Monday night (ESPN)
And now we come to the game
you've all been waiting for you're probably dreading. Last week, the Redskins finished with seven turnovers. SEVEN. The Falcons won by a single point. I have no idea how that's possible. San Francisco ranks No. 4 in pass defense, No. 6 in run defense and No. 5 rushing yards. Considering Atlanta is the worst in the NFL at stopping the run, I think we're all anticipating the 11th loss of the season.